Mobile internet usage in the United States - Statistics & Facts

Mobile internet usage has worked its way into the daily life of consumers in the United States, mainly due to the popularity of mobile technology and the rise of mobile devices. The number of mobile wireless subscriber connections in the U.S. reached an all-time high in 2015, when this figure stood at 377.9 million. That same year, there were around 109 mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in the United States. Projections for this industry are optimistic, as the number of mobile phone internet users in the U.S. is estimated to jump from 225 million in 2016 to 270.5 million by 2020. In line with these figures, the number of online users that access internet exclusively via mobile devices is also expected to increase in the coming years.

As mobile internet use grows, the development and popularity of mobile applications, shortened to simply apps, also increases. Apps focus on an extremely wide array of purposes, from gaming and weight loss apps to mobile messengers. The leading app stores are Apple’s App Store, focused on iOS users, and Google Play, which is the official app store for the Android OS. Google Play has 2.2 million apps available, and Apple’s App Store has two million. Facebook is the most popular mobile app, and the most popular social networking app in the U.S. in terms of unique monthly visitors. The social networking app received an average of 149.6 million unique visitors per month as of July 2016. The Facebook app also leads in audience reach in the United States. Facebook’s position as leading mobile app is no coincidence. Social media is one of the most popular activities of mobile internet users. As of the end of 2015, mobile devices accounted for 57 percent of all social media visits in the United States.

Other popular mobile apps include YouTube, Google Maps, Google Search, Gmail and Pandora Radio. YouTube is by far the most popular mobile music and video app in the U.S., followed by Pandora Radio and Netflix. The future is promising for these apps, as consumption of video content on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones is forecast to increase in the coming years. Another key trend in the mobile internet usage market is the boost of mobile retail e-commerce sales. In 2020, U.S. mobile retail revenues are expected to amount to 335.84 billion U.S. dollars, up from 115.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2016. Mobile devices accounted for 20 percent of all digital e-commerce spending in the U.S. as of the third quarter 2016.

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